Last night, on a message board, I posed the question, "Would it be THAT bad to take the batteries out of my smoke alarm to put them in my bathroom scale? I am all out of 9-volts. How often does one really need smoke detected, anyhow?"
The answer came to me today in a blazing orange vision.
I was preparing dinner and talking to my friend Janis about what all I need to bring to the brunch for Ladies' Bible Class tomorrow when I looked over and wondered, 'Why is my refrigerator door flashing orange lights at me?' Trying to think of anything electronic that would provide such a glow, I walked over to discover our trashcan on fire.
"Oh, my God! My house is on fire! Bye!" I said as i dropped the phone. I picked up the trashcan and sat it in the middle of the kitchen. I tried to think of what i could collect water in to put it out that wouldn't be slower than the rate of the fire's growth. I realized that this would be better taken care of outside on the water-soaked lawn and carried the burning trashcan through the living room, out the door, down the steps, across the driveway, through the lawn to the garden hose and began spraying. As I felt a moment of relief, I then realized that my kitchen could be in flames as I stood there on the lawn, contemplating my garbage.
I ran inside and was thrilled to discover no orange glow in the rest of my kitchen. Which left me to wander around and wonder how this thing got started. The best I can figure out is that I must have picked up some piece of paper when I grabbed the can of mushrooms to dump into the skillet. It touched the burner, caught fire, then i turned around and dropped it all in the can.
I have never been more thankful for the contents of a garbage can. I am typically loathe to 'Do Dowlan's Job For Him' and take it out, and instead view the can as a sort of Jenga Expansion Pack. Fortunately, this day I had cleaned out the refrigerator, so the can contained empty green bean cans and a head of wilted lettuce, a sad apple and some baby carrots who had decided to turn to the dark side--nothing overly flammable.
I also called Janis back rather quickly, before the fire department arrived.
I was fortunate to not have just dumped the mushrooms in and then come to sit at the computer or go into the girls' room to put laundry away. The fact that I had lost in plain sight the can of soup that was my next ingredient was God's way of keeping me close to the kitchen and my eyes alert.
I was also quite grateful that my three precious children were all on a walk with daddy and not attached to me in various ways as they typically are when I am cooking.
I did come to the conclusion, however, that the smoke alarm is a very stupid thing. Not even a blip. So I guess it doesn't need its batteries after all.